Brussels, January 12, 2021
IVAA welcomes the reporting by The Observer, a sister paper of The Guardian, on the care of Covid-19 patients in German anthroposophic hospitals, including critically ill patients in the intensive care ward. The article rightly highlights how these treatments are provided in addition to state-of-the-art conventional treatments, how anthroposophic medicine is fully integrated into the German health care system and how anthroposophy “enjoys a high level of social acceptance and institutional support in German-speaking countries”. The World Health Organization’s Traditional Medicine Strategy has indeed set integration of traditional and complementary medicine into health care systems as one of its strategic goals.
While the article is generally biased against anthroposophic medicine and only quotes two known opponents of anthroposophy, it nevertheless provides welcome reporting on integrative medicine that is highly popular with patients in Europe.
There are many peer-reviewed studies on anthroposophic medicine and anthroposophic medications have been in use for decades, showing an excellent safety profile. The Observer’s critique that patients should provide consent for such treatments does not hold because the treatments are not experimental, are provided in addition to standard care, based on long clinical experience and in hospitals openly publicizing their integrative medicine approach. As the article reports, German insurance companies pay flat-rate payments for hospital treatment of coronavirus patients; the additional anthroposophic treatments are thus financed out of hospital budgets and are cost-neutral for insurance companies.
Unfortunately, and as correctly reported by The Observer, individual supporters of anthroposophic medicine have sided with demonstrations against corona measures; this does in no way reflect the official position of anthroposophic medicine and IVAA member organizations have clearly distanced themselves.
IVAA will host a webinar on the experience of integrative, anthroposophic treatment of Covid-19 patients in March 2021; more details will be announced shortly at www.ivaa.info.
The Anthroposophic Medicine Statement on Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, by the IVAA and the Medical Section at the Goetheanum, is available here.
The IVAA, or International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, promotes the recognition of Anthroposophic Medicine and its implementation in health care systems. Our vision is a world where the benefits of anthroposophic medicine are widely recognised, and where patients and doctors have ready access to integrative anthroposophic medicines and treatments that improve healthcare outcomes.